The Eastport South Manor girls lacrosse team will have to put its dreams of a first Class B Long Island Championship on hold, as the Lady Sharks lost, 11-7, to Manhasset on Sunday afternoon at Motamed Field at Adelphi University.
With the victory, Manhasset moves on to the New York State Championships, which are Friday and Saturday at the State University of New York at Cortland. The season, meanwhile, ends for ESM, with the team having matched last season’s success: the Lady Sharks also lost by a score of 11-7 in last year’s Long Island Championship, to Garden City.
ESM head coach Becky Thorn had nothing but praise for her team after the game.
“We played hard,” she said. “There were so many people who doubted us, that we were going to get crushed by 10 goals, or 12, or whatever it may be—but my defense came prepared. My attack kind of fell apart a little bit, but it comes with the inexperience.”
The Lady Sharks graduated a number of players from last year’s team and had to make do with a number of underclassmen and inexperienced varsity players this season. Those players stepped up, though, and helped lead the team to its second consecutive county title and Long Island Championship appearance.
ESM held a 3-2 lead after junior Jackie Wasilko’s goal, from freshman Kaelie Huff, at 14:29 in the first half. But the Lady Sharks had a hard time scoring after that, missing three shots and turning the ball over a couple of times at midfield, allowing Manhasset to take advantage.
Manhasset junior Natalie Stefan scored her third goal of the game at 5:47 that tied the score at 3-3. Then junior Julia Glynn gave the Lady Indians a 4-3 lead about two minutes later, and that was the score at the half.
“We easily could have gone up by another two or three goals, which, if we could have done that, it would have been key for us,” Thorn said. “I think our biggest thing was not taking our slow possessions and [Manhasset] checking like crazy. I compared them to what Hauppauge was last year—they are going to swing like crazy, they’re going to swing no matter where you are, no matter how many defenders are around you. We haven’t experienced that this year.”
After some back-and-forth play to start the second half, Manhasset went on a 3-1 run that seemed to take some of the wind out of ESM’s sails.
ESM junior Dakota Mason scored a free-position goal with 12:38 remaining in the game, but the Lady Indians responded with two more goals. Mason added another goal with 1:51 left, but Glynn scored the final goal of the game at 1:28 to ensure Manhasset’s victory.
“They fought—they fought hard,” Thorn said of her players. “My biggest concern with them was, just don’t leave any regrets on the field, because I know some of them did last year against Garden City … I don’t think they left any regrets, any of them.”
Stefan led all scorers with four goals, while Glynn had a hat trick. Mason scored a hat trick in the second half alone. Manhasset junior goalie Erin Coleman made five saves, while ESM sophomore goalie Sam Giacolone made eight saves. Both goalies made key stops on some tough shots.
ESM will now reload for next season. With only two seniors graduating this month, Marissa Gurello and Blair Rosenberg, the Lady Sharks are primed for another run at the Suffolk County and Long Island championships.
Thorn said she will miss both Gurello and Rosenberg, who had played for her since she took over the team three years ago. Gurello, the team captain, will be playing at the University of New Hampshire, while Rosenberg will be playing at St. Francis University.
“They definitely were impacts,” Thorn said of both players. “It’s tough losing people who have kind of been the heart and soul of the team, and Marissa, being one of our leaders out here, she’s always had a role, whether it be scoring, transition, midfield or defense. She’s definitely going to be one we’re going to miss.”